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Old 07-05-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
RKP
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slop in steering

I still have steering problems with my 2001 30' airstream class a motorhome on the workhorse chassis. As stated before the steering is loose, too much play in the steering wheel. Following are the things I have tried. New bell cranks, rebuild steering box, further adjust steering box ,safeTplus steering stabilizer several tire pressures tried, front end alignment, tires are Michelin on steel 191/2 wheels tires are in excellent condition, tie rod ends look tight along with all other components. Most recently I added a blue ox rear track bar. I am not aware if the caster or toe in was checked it's all I can think of. Someone must have solved this kind of problem
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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Do you feel the slop only while driving or can you feel, see the same amount of steering wheel free play setting still with engine shut off? If you can feel it in wheel with engine off there is something loose in steering joints, connections.
Tire condition, alignment, stabilizers, etc. only come into play while you are moving.
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:46 AM   #3
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When we had this problem I took it to a truck shop that does front end alignment. $385 later they corrected by aligning front end, shims and steering box adjustment. Seems like a lot less $$$ than you've spent. Why not take it to the pro's instead of just throwing money and parts into it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
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When we had this problem I took it to a truck shop that does front end alignment. $385 later they corrected by aligning front end, shims and steering box adjustment. Seems like a lot less $$$ than you've spent. Why not take it to the pro's instead of just throwing money and parts into it.
Ditto. Another part that needs to be checked is the bell crank. A lot of "play" can develop in the bell crank and after market bell cranks are far superior to what chassis builders install.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:12 AM   #5
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Re. Denshers question The loose steering is there when standing still and with engine off. I can see the steering shaft move long before the wheels start to move, As stated before the steering box has been rebuilt and adjusted, I don't know of any other adjustments. Your question seems to be on the right track. I'm at a lose.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:15 AM   #6
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If you can see the shaft move but wheels don't, have someone else rock the wheel back and forth and just follow the line of parts down to the wheels. At some point you will find a part that moves connected to a part that doesn't.

How much play in the wheel? 1 inch, 2, 3, 4?
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Re. Denshers question The loose steering is there when standing still and with engine off. I can see the steering shaft move long before the wheels start to move, As stated before the steering box has been rebuilt and adjusted, I don't know of any other adjustments. Your question seems to be on the right track. I'm at a lose.
I had this same kind of slop when I bought the Gulfstream in May. without going into long story of how I found it, short version is: The bell crank on mine is 3/4" thick bar approximately 10" long to where the tie rod connects. I could not feel any free play movement in it at the gear box spline but could see a very slight rocking (side to side tipping) of the bell crank when steering shaft was rotated. After trying to retighten it twice I noticed the weight of the bell crank plus weight to the tie rod was more than simply tightening the bolt could overcome. On mine the bell crank sets horizontal with the spline shaft of gear box point vertical up. I pushed up on outer end bell crank and supported while tightening the clamp bolt and slop/ free play is gone. Have only driven it 40 miles since but is night & day difference. May not be your problem but then again??
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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Re. dmurdock I can see approx 1/4 turn of the shaft where it enters the steering box before anything else moves, needless to say that's a lot of play in the steering wheel. The steering u-joints look tight the problem seems to be in the steering box which i just had rebuilt, I was told I couldn't buy a new one. Re densher comment I'm not sure I follow your suggestion, maybe my understanding of a bell crank is not the same as yours. I will check the internet to check my understanding, thanks to you all. Keep the suggestions coming and maybe I can solve this. I really like the motorhome.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:19 PM   #9
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Go to Super Steer's web site and you can see all the pictures of the parts
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